We have an old dog. He’s a miniature border collie, and his name is Oreo. The days of chasing squirrels and herding grandchildren are done. His day consists of begging for dog treats, letting me pet him, and sleeping. I’ve noticed that the older Oreo gets, the more water he seems to drink, requiring me to fill his dish several times a day.
As soon as I sit down in my chair, he’s begging for a dog treat. He will continue to beg until I hold up my hand and say, “No. You’ve had enough.” Then he walks to the side of my chair for me to pet him. When we’re done, he goes in the kitchen, has a drink of water, and goes back to bed. This process is repeated over and over throughout the day.
I was thinking about Oreo’s constant need for water. I suppose he could just drink it all at once, but he continually returns for little drinks of water throughout the day. There’s an analogy to be made between the scriptures and Oreo’s water. I can spend several weeks or months reading the scriptures from start to finish and then set them down and not touch them for a year or more (yes, I’ve done this), or I can read a few scriptures every day for the rest of my life. Oreo continues to go back to the water, and the water replenishes his system and keeps his juices flowing. The word of God can continually replenish my juices—if only I constantly come back for more.
If I don’t read the scriptures for even one day, I’m depriving myself of nourishment—life-sustaining nourishment.
My brothers and sisters, how precious is the Book of Mormon to you? If you were offered diamonds or rubies or the Book of Mormon, which would you choose? Honestly, which is of greater worth to you? . . . [C]onsider three related questions that I urge you to think about today:
First, what would your life be like without the Book of Mormon? Second, what would you not know? And third, what would you not have? (President Russell M. Nelson, “The Book of Mormon: What Would Your Life Be Like without It?,” Oct. 2017 General Conference).
My life without the Book of Mormon would be very different. I would not be striving for an eternal family. I would not know that Christ loves all of Heavenly Father’s children. I would not know that Christ appeared on the American continent. I would not have hope for the future. I would not know that my family will be with me forever. Of course, I would choose the Book of Mormon over diamonds, rubies, gold, silver, or any other riches.
Christ invites us to come unto Him. How can we do that if we don’t hear His words? How do we really know Him if we don’t study? Life is difficult—especially in these times—and we are told we can find peace through Him. If we are looking for peace in our lives, are we looking in the right place? Where is peace to be found?
We wonder, how do I find joy despite the difficulties of mortal life? ¶ The answer may seem too simple, but it has proven true from the days of Adam. Lasting joy is found in focusing on our Savior, Jesus Christ, and living the gospel as demonstrated and taught by Him. The more we learn about, have faith in, and emulate Jesus Christ, the more we come to understand that He is the source of all healing, peace, and eternal progress.
He invites each of us to come unto Him, an invitation that President Henry B. Eyring has characterized as “the most important invitation anyone could accept” (Jean B. Bingham, Relief Society General President, “That Your Joy Might Be Full,” Oct. 2017 General Conference, quoting President Henry B. Eyring, “Come unto Christ,” Ensign or Liahona, Mar. 2008, 49).
Daily reading the scriptures allows me to feel close to the Savior. At first, the peace is found for the duration of my reading, but when I’m consistently reading every day, the peace extends throughout the day.
It amazes me that I sometimes “don’t have time” to read the scriptures, yet I find time to eat the bowl of ice cream I don’t need, scroll through my Facebook feed, watch Madam Secretary and Designated Survivor, and spend hours crocheting little things to validate sitting in my recliner with my feet up.
So, while I can sit and say that I would choose the Book of Mormon over diamonds, rubies, and the other riches of the world, the reality is that “choosing” is more than flapping my mouth. Choosing is opening the book, reading, pondering, and spending quality time in search of the riches that Christ offers.
I guess I need to figure out how badly I want peace and healing in my life, and how much I’m willing to do in order to progress eternally. Am I willing to come back daily to drink the living water and spiritually nourish my soul through the scriptures? Spiritual scripture nourishment requires commitment.
Tudie Rose is a mother of four and grandmother of ten in Sacramento, California. You can find her on Twitter as @TudieRose. She blogs as Tudie Rose at http://potrackrose.wordpress.com. She has written articles for Familius. You will find a Tudie Rose essay in Lessons from My Parents, Michele Robbins, Familius 2013, at http://www.familius.com/lessons-from-my-parents.